You do exceptional things in the classroom every single day. NCTE is here to recognize them.
NCTE Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award
2023 Recipient: Elaine Richardson
The Ohio State University
Elaine Richardson is a professor of literacy studies in the College of Education at The Ohio State University. A Cleveland, Ohio, native and Columbus, Ohio, resident, “Dr. E” is a community-engaged scholar and performing artist whose work focuses on the empowerment of Black women, girls, gender-expansive people of color, and overall community wellness. Her projects are anchored in Columbus’s Near East Side in afterschool and community-based contexts, employing music, poetry, storytelling, theater, dance, visual arts, and popular culture as part of initiatives Empowering Young Voices Mentoring for the Arts Program (founder and co-director) and the Columbus Women & Girls’ Fest (founding director), which focuses on promoting women and girls’ leadership in arts, culture, education, and entrepreneurship. These initiatives provide a platform to empower diverse women and girls, honoring Black and Brown community literacies. Dr. E is the founding director of the Ohio State University Hiphop Literacies Conference, bringing together scholars, educators, activists, students, artists, and community members to dialogue on pressing social issues of concern to Hiphop generations and their communities. She is the author of numerous books, articles, and recordings. Dr. E is an award-winning and nationally recognized speaker, author, and performance activist.
“Professional literacy educators love and honor people and their life-giving languages, literacies, and cultures. We learn with and for our communities and advocate for resources for their holistic wellness and our own self-care so we can co-construct with them a better world where everyone belongs and has what they need. As stated by the late great thinker bell hooks:
‘Without an ethic of love shaping the direction of our political vision and our radical aspirations, we are often seduced, in one way or the other, into continued allegiance to systems of domination—imperialism, sexism, racism, classism. . . . Fundamentally, if we are only committed to an improvement in that politic of domination that we feel leads directly to our individual exploitation or oppression, we not only remain attached to the status quo but act in complicity with it, nurturing and maintaining those very systems of domination. Until we are all able to accept the interlocking, interdependent nature of systems of domination and recognize specific ways each system is maintained, we will continue to act in ways that undermine our individual quest for freedom and collective liberation struggle.’”
(bell hooks, “Love as the Practice of Freedom”)
The NCTE Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award (APCL), established in 2007 and first presented in 2008, is a special award given to an NCTE member of color who has made a significant contribution to NCTE and the development of our professional community. We remind nominators, nominees, and selection committee members that members of NCTE Conferences—CCCC, CEL, ELATE, LLA, and TYCA—are members, by definition, of NCTE.
To promote and support the advancement of communities of color in the profession and contribute to promoting equity and dismantling racism.
Frequency/Number of Awards:
This award will be bestowed only when the APCL Selection Committee decides a nomination warrants presentation of the award. The composition of the selection committee includes POC from various groups within the Council, e.g., caucuses, affiliate groups, and assemblies. This award may not be given each year. This award may be given to a deceased person. Only one recipient will be selected each year.
Current NCTE Executive Committee members are not eligible for this award. Recipients of this award are not eligible to receive any other Executive Committee approved awards in the same year, nor in the following year.
People of color refers to historically underrepresented groups: African American, Black Diasporic communities, American Indians, Asian Americans, Latinx, and Pacific Islanders. The APCL Selection Committee will consider nominations from current NCTE members. The Executive Committee will approve the committee’s selection. It is customary that recipients of this award have a significant history of advancing POC in NCTE-affiliated venues and platforms and have held membership in NCTE for many years.
Required materials for submission are a cover letter or letter of nomination and a resume/CV.
The bold statements are the award criteria. The remaining statements are intended to describe some of the possibilities suggested in the criteria and are not intended to be rated individually. Please remember that different individuals have different levels of access to various opportunities (for example, small rural and urban vs. large rural and urban contexts).
Significant Contributions to NCTE
- Service contributions supporting NCTE and advancing individuals and communities of color (national, regional, local, and campus levels as well as conferences, affiliates, assemblies, caucuses, etc.)
- Elected roles
- Advocacy and program support
- Writing/presenting/editing/reviewing at NCTE-affiliated conferences/publication venues that contribute to literacy research, development, and innovative practice related to issues which disproportionately affect people of color
Development of Our Professional Community
Professional communities focused on activities/work/processes that promote and support the advancement of communities of color in the profession, contribute to promoting equity and dismantling racism in their community locally, nationally, and in NCTE, in literacy-related activities, and in public engagement. Literacy learning can be varied (e.g., global, national, regional, and local/campus)
- Developing district/state/national curriculum
- (Co-)research with community members
- (Co-)publish with community members
- Advocacy of policy and practices that influence and advance understanding of equity and antiracism
- Professional development
- Offer professional development school/training for community members
Strong candidates tend to show strength in all areas.
The NCTE President appoints one Executive Committee member to serve as chair and four NCTE members-at-large from relevant NCTE groups.
- A plaque is given to the recipient during the NCTE Awards Session.
- The recipient will also receive:
- A complimentary NCTE Annual Convention registration
- Domestic round-trip coach airfare to the NCTE Annual Convention
- One-night lodging (Friday) with meals
Application Deadline: May 1
Please contact NCTEAwards@ncte.org with any questions.
2024 NCTE Distinguished Service Award Application
Please note that questions marked with an asterisk are required; unmarked questions are optional. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2024.
Advancement of People of Color Leadership Award Previous Recipients
2022 Sandra Lucia Osorio, Erikson Institute
2021 Jonda C. McNair, The Ohio State University
2020 Tonya B. Perry, University of Alabama at Birmingham
2019 David E. Kirkland, New York University
2018 Valerie Kinloch, University of Pittsburgh
2017 Alfredo Celedón Luján, Monte del Sol Charter School, Santa Fe, NM
2016 Kris D. Gutierrez, University of California, Berkeley
2015 Violet J. Harris, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana
2014 Keith Gilyard, Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
2013 Vivian Vasquez, American University, Washington, DC
2012 Geneva Smitherman, Michigan State University, East Lansing
2011 James L. Hill, Albany State University, Georgia
2010 Maria Franquiz, University of Texas, Austin
2009 Arnetha Ball, Stanford University, Stanford, California
2008 Victor Villanueva, Washington State University, Pullman